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LH 123: How to Build Awesome Organic Soil

The best organic gardening practices for building our soils

Our soil is the foundation for everything we do out in the garden. And having an understanding of how it works is hugely important.

If we are better stewards of our soil, we will have healthier plants, fewer pest problems, and a happier earth.

In today’s episode, I bring on Mark Highland, who is also known as the Organic Mechanic. Mark knows a lot about soil and organic gardening because he runs the company with the same name: Organic Mechanics Soil.

I wanted Mark to help us better understand how our soil works and how we should care for it an organic way.

 

You will learn:

  • Why “big picture” thinking is key to all organic gardening
  • The difference between conventional and organic fertilizers
  • Why deer are more attracted to synthetically fertilized plants
  • Why organic matter makes for healthier plants
  • The key practices that make all the difference in soil building
  • Why you should avoid the tiller at all costs
  • Why we need to wait after a storm before weeding
  • What makes bugs attack conventionally grown plants more than organically grown
  • And so much more

Mark Highland:

Mark Highland Bio Photo at LivingHomegrown.comIt was on a beautiful piece of Illinois farmland that Mark pushed his first shovel into garden soil. After he “grew up,” Mark focused his M.S. degree studies in the Longwood Graduate Program on compost and potting soil.

After the Longwood Graduate Program, Mark started The Organic Mechanic Soil Company, LLC in 2006. Mark has served as a consultant for the EPA and Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and recently received the Young Professional Award from the Perennial Plant Association.

 

Resources & Links Mentioned:

Practical Organic Gardening * – Mark’s book

Organic Mechanics Soil – Mark’s website

Where to get soil testing

Transcript:

Click here for the full transcript for Episode #123

*denotes an affiliate link

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy® and is the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two teenage boys and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.

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